Pretty

… and yummy, too:

That, my friends, is a two and a half pound loaf of bread, fresh out of my Zojirushi BBCC-X20 bread machine.  This is probably the most visually appealing loaf that I’ve managed to create, although the picture didn’t turn out quite as I had hoped.  A flash would have helped, but my Sony bloggie isn’t exactly a high-end camera. I caused the thin crack running along the right side near the top as I was removing it from the baking pan.

Actually, it is 1,303 grams, which comes out to two pounds, fourteen ounces.

How did I do it?  I’m so glad that you asked.  It is a very simple, basic whole wheat bread recipe that I created after experimenting with the recipes and programs that came with the machine.  First, I started with Wheat Montana Prairie Gold wheat berries.  I created fresh flour using an older model L’Equip Nutrimill (long since discontinued, but fully functional  – the link is to their current version).  I then combined the following ingredients in the pan, and ran the Basic program with the Light Crust option selected:

440 grams of filtered water

40 grams of honey

45 grams of butter

40 grams of sugar

20 grams of dry milk

20 grams of garlic salt (adjust to taste – strength varies by brand, I use 5th Season because it’s cheap)

760 grams of freshly milled wheat flour

7+ grams of yeast (7.5 grams is the correct amount, but few kitchen scales are accurate to 0.1 grams, especially when there is already almost five pounds on the scale  – 2½ teaspoons will work just fine)

That’s it.  Combine the ingredients, wet ingredients first, then dry, with the yeast carefully sprinkled on top of the flour, not in contact with any liquid.  Carefully secure the pan in the machine, close the lid, and press the Start button.  Three and a half hours later, you will have fresh bread, ready to remove, cool, and enjoy.

It’s a good idea to check the pan about ten minutes into the initial mixing/kneading step.  Sometimes, not all of the ingredients will mix cleanly, and it will be necessary to scrape any unmixed ingredients from the sides of the pan back towards the bottom.  Be careful of the moving blades while doing so, of course.

You will notice that I use weight in the smallest unit commonly available on kitchen scales instead of volume measurements.  Bread making is part science, and if high school chemistry class taught me anything, accurately weighing the components of a chemical reaction is critical to the success of said reaction.

The temperature of the ingredients themselves and the room also have a significant impact on the final product.  I used some frozen flour for the last loaf that I made.  Note that fresh flour will go rancid if not used within a week or two of being milled if stored at room temperature, but is good for at least six months if frozen.

I didn’t wait for the ingredients to come up to room temperature before starting the program, and the result was a very dense loaf that only rose about seventy percent of the usual amount.  It tasted fine, but the texture and appearance were not what I was used to.

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4 Responses to Pretty

  1. OK, I’m hungry now. I don’t have a bread machine though so I’d have to do it the old fashioned way. Which I’m feeling too lazy for right now. Just send me some would you? Pretty please? I suppose I can settle for the bread I got from the bakery today instead. =)

    • alaskan454 says:

      Sorry ’bout making you hungry.

      I could send you some, but by the time it got there, it probably wouldn’t be all that good. By the time it cooled, it had gotten wrinkly on top. Still yummy, though.

  2. Craig says:

    You have my address. Yum!

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